I Want to Be “Beautiful”
On Friday, I went to get my roots colored at the salon. (Ain’t getting old, fun?!) :)
I’ve been going to the same stylist for a few years, so we have fun catching up with each other and filling each other in on what’s going on in our lives. This visit was full of wedding talk because in just a couple of weeks, my stylist is getting married!
I shared memories of my wedding, and she told me all the things she still needed to check off her to-do list. There are so many details that have to be remembered and put into action at a wedding. Like every bride, she was feeling overwhelmed.
And then I gave her my best mama advice and said, “Years from now, your guests will not remember all of the details like what the cake looked like, or what color the dresses were, or how many hor’derves you served, but they will remember how they FELT at your wedding.”
I’ve been to many weddings, and the ones that I remember the most are the ones that touched my heart. The ones that left me feeling good and uplifted.
As I was driving home from my appointment, I began thinking about the people in my life that always made me feel good.
You know those people. The ones that make you feel loved, or important, or valued. The ones that inspire you and make you smile.
Those people are the most beautiful people I know.
Will they ever grace the cover of a magazine? No.
Do they live in big houses or drive fancy cars? No.
Are they the most fashionable? Charismatic? Famous? No. No. No.
Their beauty does not come from the outside, but from the inside. And their beauty comes from how they make others FEEL.
As I head to the Haven Conference this week, of course, my insecurities about my weight and appearance start to surface. I know I shouldn’t worry about it, but I’m just being honest, y’all. As women, we are so hard on ourselves, aren’t we? Being on stage in front of 300+ attendees is not easy.
I am on the road to better health, but I am not where I want to be yet. I’ve been trying on new clothes to wear to Haven, and it’s just depressing, y’all. :) I’m not a spring chicken anymore, ya know?! haha! My mind begins to start the old comparison game, and I have to remember my own advice.
The most beautiful people in my life are beautiful because of the way they make me FEEL.
I want that kind of beauty.
I want others to think I am beautiful, not because of what I wear, or what I’ve accomplished, or what I look like. I want others to think I am beautiful because I make them feel special.
So how do I do that?
Well, I think it starts with thinking of others more than myself, being a good listener, and showing kindness. There are many other ways to make others feel special, but those are my top three. :) (Plus, giving lots of hugs. I’m a hugger, y’all.)
Many of you are the most beautiful people in the world to me because you have shown me so much kindness and encouragement over the years. You’ve filled up my heart with JOY.
So if you don’t already know it, let me tell you…YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!!
Now go forth and sprinkle kindness like confetti today!!
I KNOW you are beautiful! I always feel uplifted/confirmed/good, when I read your blog. I love that even though you don’t sugar coat your life, you love and embrace all the craziness and that makes you very special. It could be really easy to be grumpy and overwhelmed raising five children, but you make it look good. Your children always seem to be happy in the pics and videos.
This post couldn’t have come at a better time. I was shopping yesterday, not really looking for anything in particular, but I went home empty handed and defeated. I felt old, overweight, out of shape…defeated. I’m 53, about 12-15 lbs over what I should be, and moderately active. I watch what I eat, but as I’ve gotten older, well, the weight doesn’t budge. So, all that to say, I do hope I also have that inner beauty that makes people want to be around me. I have one or two really good girlfriends who are so kind and sweet, and they love me in spite of myself :).
Thank you for the reminder that beauty isn’t always what we see, but what we feel.
The most beautiful person in my life is my Mom, she just turned 89 July 3rd. I am very blessed to have her living with us (my husband and I). She keeps me grounded with her wisdom on loving the simple things in life. She is a beautiful person inside and out, I strive to try and be 1/2 the person she is….
The most beautiful person who entered my life was years ago while I was in college. Her name was Sara Keith Gamble and she was the Dean of female students at David Lipscomb College in Nashville where I attended. She was one of those women who just lit up a room when she entered. She wasn’t gorgeous, she didn’t have incredible hair but I remember her laugh, her smile, her beautiful clothes, and how wonderful she always smelled! That was her appearance; but her heart was the most remembered. I doubt she’d remember me from Adam, but she was the epitome of what I wanted my presence to be in a crowd. I was talking to someone about her once and they commented, “It’s a shame she is so obese.” I stopped what I was saying and looked at them blankly and said, “I never noticed that about her.” They said, “how could you not?” I just smiled…it was because of all those other things…her smile, her heart, how she smelled and dressed…that was her presence and I just never noticed she was a big lady. It’s a shame they couldn’t see past that.
Karen, I love this story. I don’t know what else to say except it was wonderful and right on the mark! I am going to Lipscomb College in October to the Christian Music – Dove Awards. I think that is probably the same one you attended. How beautiful that area is!! Thank you for sharing this beautiful story about a beautiful lady!
Beautiful!! thank YOU!
My momma used to say, Beauty Is As Beauty Does! Based on your blog, you are beautiful! It is a shame that we women do such a good job of comparing ourselves to other women and putting ourselves down because we’re not thin enough, or we don’t have curly hair, fancy clothes, etc., etc. Instead, I/we need to remember that in Gods eyes we are beautiful and each one of us are unique, and He does not want us comparing ourselves to others. There’s only one of each and every one of us!
A beautiful person in my life right now is one of our male neighbors because of the many ways that he continues to lend a hand while my husband is still recovering from the autologous stem cell transplant. He does not want to be paid because “that’s what neighbors do!”
You are going to rock at the conference in my home town!
Well, let me just say you are beautiful !!! On the inside and on the outside!! You need not worry about being in front of all those attendees. Women need to know that you do not have to be a size 2 to be beautiful!! You are a beautiful woman no matter what your weight, so don’t even let that bother you. You are real, kind and loving. And besides that you have Christ’s love. What is better than that!? Amen!? Continue to spread that love and kindness ( and give those hugs) so many people need them!!! God’s blessings to you
Thank you, Debbie! I was a hugging machine at Haven! haha! I had a wonderful time and didn’t worry about my looks one bit! Being around so many wonderful ladies at Haven just lifted my spirits. :)
Very wise words, my friend. I needed to hear them today.
Thank you, Teresa!
Love this!!! Amen and me, too 😄
Traci ,when I first saw your picture I thought you were so beautiful then I read about your adopting Sania and how much you work with her and your 4 sons. So you aren’t just beautiful you are amazing. Some people are able to keep the weight off and some aren’t. I can gain enough weight in a weekend to put me in my looser clothes.(didn’t want to say fat clothes),😉 So what are we to do? Keep trying to be healthy and go forth? Hide? Wear your best outfit and be your kind gentle self and have fun at the Haven conference and praise the Lord. Remember you are His princess. 💞
What a wonderful post!!! 😍
Girl, you are such a beauty inside & out!! I feel exactly the same as you, but know our sweet Lord wants me to be concerned about the non-physical things. We are works in progress & so thankful for you sharing your heart!! 💕
Thank you, Heather!!
The most beautiful person I know is my friend, Jeanie. We started out as workmates almost 20 years ago and I have always admired her kindness, gratefulness and appreciation for her friends and family. Her husband went blind shortly after they married and she has supported her family on a meager salary. I have never once heard her complain and she takes great pleasure in working as a teachers aide even though she is old enough to retire. She is truly an angel on earth.
What an awesome post and every word of it is soooo true. And, I WANT to be remembered for being a beautiful person as well. Prayers for you as you go to Haven. You are going to be such a blessing to all the ladies in attendance. You are indeed beautiful my dear!
Traci you are pretty and beautiful too! My most beautiful person I know is my sister Lidia and she lives in Argentina where I’m from and where my family lives. I call her my “younger twin” because we have the same birthday :October 20 but she is 2 years younger. So we are very close like regular twins even she lives in the other side of the world. I’m very thankful that because of new techonology we text, send videos, pictures, audios almost every day.
Well, you make me smile and happy and I have never even met you! I think that says a lot. Best of luck at your conference, I hope that all goes well.
Not too long ago I was sure I saw a horse in the mirror, shocking, I do like horses though!
To malign no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men.
God bless you Traci, and everyone that you love!
I’ve read your posts, but I’ve never commented before now. The message I’ve felt you have conveyed over time is one of a joyous heart. Your smile says it all…loved, respected and honored by others. In other words, a beautiful person!
Carla! Thank you for commenting!! I DO have joy in my heart! My mama always told me that when I didn’t feel pretty to put on a smile because it instantly makes you beautiful! :)
Traci…even if you never posted a picture of yourself, your posts speak volumes of your internal beauty!!! You are a child of God and for that reason alone, you are beautiful, inside and out! In reality, I do not know one woman who is happy with themself and I include myself in this. I struggle every day with my weight, with caring and not caring and wanting to just enjoy my life and enjoy who I am physically as well as emotionally and mentally, just the way I am. It’s part of our humanness to struggle with issues of weight, insecurity, self esteem etc. As a result of my own soul-searching, I realize the best thing that I can do for myself and other women most especially, is to be loving and kind and compassionate. Women are blessed to have other women in their lives because we are a great support system to one another and this is very evident in the women that post responses on your blog.
Ladies, you all rock….keep up the fight for loving yourself, accepting yourself for who God created you to be and remember to always help those around you to feel loved!
Traci…your blog is a blessing to so many because you speak from your heart and your love, kindness and compassion shines through….thank you! ❤️
Several wonderful comments from other readers. You are a true gem Traci and you are beautiful inside and out. It’s on my bucket list to meet you someday. First off I’d have to hug your neck (I’m a hugger too; well that and a cryer) then we’d gab for hours.
I saw you shopping the other day. I feel bad that I did not speak!! You were on your cell phone and I was in a hurry! You are the one that immediately comes to my mind when it comes to beauty. I have known you since you were a teenager. I thought you were beautiful then but oh… look at you now!! Absolutely gorgeous!! God has done an amazing work in your life!! Keep your eyes on HIM.
Mandy! I’m sorry I didn’t get to speak to you either! I was crazy shopping trying to get ready for the Haven conference. You will ALWAYS be one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever known. Thank you for leading me to grow deeper in Christ when I was a teenager and for teaching me how to have an intimate walk with Him.
I just want to start by saying you ARE beautiful! Your heart is radiated through your words. I happened upon your blog from a friend’s, and enjoy following you. Someday, God willing, I’ll get to hug and tell you that in person. One never knows. :)
My mom was the most beautiful person to me. She died too young, but before she did, she taught my sisters and I how to love – I mean REALLY love. She was selfless. She gave when she had nothing to give. She did for others with no expectation of it being returned. She was a friend to everyone. Her smile was contagious. Her heart on her sleeve. She took the time to really know the people in her life, and she set an example that lives on. God has blessed my life with MANY beautiful people – whose hearts are visible in their eyes, words and affections. I believe that when we get closer to our Savior, the overflow can’t help but to reflect out. Bless you and your journey. Remember – many other women probably feel the same way you do, and look at you and think, “Wow! She is so beautiful!”. Let’s keep building each other up.
I am getting ready to turn 60. This morning I am babysitting my grandchildren! What a blessing in itself. But I was feeling a little bad about myself. Never had age bother me till now. I read your post. And I started thinking about the most beautiful person in my life . It was my grandmother. I have to laugh because she wasnt very pretty , haha but as a child I thought she was beautiful.. she had a heart as big as all outdoors. So big wake up to myself….. pretty is as pretty does. I think you are beautiful inside and out,,,,,,
Yes, Kim! A “heart as big as all outdoors” certainly is a beautiful thing to see and experience! Grandmas are some of the most beautiful women in all the earth! God bless you and your sweet grandchildren!
You ARE keeping it real- and to me, that is what is beautiful! I am attracted to several of the bloggers that are helping you at The Haven Conference. And for me, these women keep it real. They let us know they goofed up, they struggle, that the other side of the beautiful kitchen is a mess of a living room, that their kids are not perfect….that is what I long for- to know others are just like me trying to keep it all going. I see beauty in keeping it real! In sharing that, we all can know that BEAUTY does not mean PERFECT!
You have always been beautiful Traci, inside and out! You just rock that Haven conference sweet cousin! Love you!!!
Beautiful post from a beautiful woman! Hugs and blessings, Cindy
Dear sweet Traci,
I have been following you and Cindi for a couple of years now and you have been a blessing to my life not because of your perfection because you both have been real and have shared your Christian faith and families with love and fun and creativity. It always gives me a boost . You are beautiful and a gift to others . Your mother knew the gifts God gave her daughters and would remind you of this today if she could. When Satan wants to move in and tell you are not living up to the worlds standards get out there and remember you are a daughter of the King!!! Blessings Joanne L
Joanne, thank you for your kind and encouraging words. What a blessing my blog friends are to me!! xoxo Traci
Wise words. Thank you!
Such a beautiful post. Being a good listener is soooo important today. I don’t know many who are, but I really try to be. I like to show others I care by listening to them and then having compassion and mercy for them if they need it. Thank you for the reminder to be beautiful from the inside out. PS You gave perfect advice to your hairdresser who is getting married. My daughter just got married last summer and there is SOOOO much to do and so many details, but no one really looks that close and won’t remember all that stuff. You are right, they will remember how the whole occasion made them feel. :) All weddings and brides are beautiful. :)
You are beautiful inside and out and you should own that(: You are certainly way too hard on yourself. You look amazing! There are so many beautiful women who bless my life daily. But, my two favorites are my mom and my daughter. My mom truly sees the beauty in everyone. She does not have one enemy. And my daughter is following in her footsteps. She can see beauty and grace in everyone she meets. I love that quality.
“at the end of the day, people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel”– maya angelou
my favorite quote and how i try to live my life.
Oh Traci, I didn’t get to go to Haven this time and I sure missed it. I very well remember meeting you last year and you had your precious daughter with you. The smile on your face couldn’t be missed and you made everyone there feel safe and at home. You are beautiful in many ways. I hope you had a great time and felt confident while you were there.